Prayerful Dependence in Mission

Thursday, 7 November 2019 Prayerful Dependence in Mission
Three workers in different stages of their ministry journey, share how they have seen God’s faithfulness outwork through prayer.

In His Leading

Andy and his family will soon leave Australia to serve as long-term workers in Galmi Hospital. After Andy did a short-term trip to Galmi Hospital, the family knew they were being called to long-term cross-cultural mission. However, they didn’t know where God was leading them.

In their uncertainty, the family prayed for God to direct them. Andy explained, “We knew that it was vital for us to be united as a family in this decision. Discerning God's direction for our family was difficult and took a long time. There were times when we tried to work things out ourselves and forgot to bring our concerns to God in prayer. Through this time of discernment, I feel that we grew in our trust in God. Praying together as a couple and as a family was so important.”

As the family sought God’s discernment by praying together, they also asked others to come alongside them during this time. Andy explained, “Our SIM mobiliser encouraged us to seek out specific people who knew us well and could be a prayer support team, and this was so helpful. Even though it was a long journey of discernment, we felt blessed that God would use it to help us grow in Him, and ultimately He did give us a clear sense of direction and unity in the decision.”
On The Field

Bethany is a SIM Australia worker who is serving in West Africa. Bethany arrived on the field in 2017 and continues to work on language learning while ministering with children and families in her community. Two highlights during Bethany’s time in West Africa include being able to start sharing about Jesus in the local language and pray while walking in the local area.

As she has adjusted to life in a different country, Bethany has learned to be dependent on God for both the big and small things. 

She explained, “There is so much in each day that I don’t understand, that I cannot ‘lean on my own understanding’ and am reminded to commit my ways to God. I rely on the Holy Spirit to help ease my interactions across language and cultural barriers. Requests for help are a particular issue I bring to God in prayer asking for wisdom, to know how to help in a way that is good for the person and their relationship with God.”

Despite the adversities Bethany has faced in moving to a foreign country by herself and learning about a culture that is very different from her own, she has learnt the importance of gratitude.

“In the struggle of daily life and language learning, my most common plea to God over the past years has been for– “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” (from the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness),” she said. “God’s presence and God’s forgiveness are blessings we can thank Him for every day. Each time I can tell a story from the Bible in the local language it is an answer to prayer and my heart rejoices!”

Whenever Bethany sees God at work in her community, she is reminded of her faithful prayer supporters who daily ask for God’s intervention in West Africa. She said, “I am so thankful that mission is a team effort. When I see God work in ways that I haven’t anticipated I wonder who has been praying from the other side of the world for a moment of God’s grace to be shown in West Africa.”

Through Transition

John and his family Fiona recently returned to Australia after serving in South Asia. John oversaw many projects in their field country and had a deep passion for those in their community to hear the Good News. When they were seeking God’s leading about whether to transition into a different area of ministry, John and his wife were intentional about not only praying themselves but inviting a trusted circle to also pray.

John shared, “We got lots of people involved in praying for us through our newsletters and prayer updates. We determined to pray individually for discernment and also we prayed intentionally together as a couple once a week.  We also invited a few church leaders and friends to pray more specifically for us and our decision. We also started to pray about this decision with our boys in our family devotions which was a good way to include them in our discernment process.”

Although John and his wife had a difficult decision to make, their dependence on God allowed them to lay their burdens at His feet.

“Certainly being able to ‘throw all our cares’ on Him in prayer is a great help and comfort,” John said.  “Knowing he is a personal God who is concerned about us and our life in Him, not just our work for Him, is also a comfort. In prayer, we can go directly to Him with our disappointments, frustrations, and hopes. He serves in this way like a counsellor who is a good listener.”

John experienced many blessings after being obedient to God’s call to missions, including serving the church in South Asia, meeting a wonderful woman to marry and having the opportunity to study at Bible College. John and his family’s obedience in returning to Australia, opened an exciting door for John. He is using his experience on the field to empower the next generation of missionaries.

GO: God can use you just as you are! If you feel a call to the mission field, start a conversation with a Mission Mobiliser by clicking here. Will you make yourself available to God’s service?
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